Fall 2014 Season Preview

You guys excited about some new cartoons?! This summer was very nearly the weakest season since I started this blog, so I know I’m sure ready. This fall is looking to be the Season of the Sequel – I’ve already got four sequels I’ll be checking out, along with Sword Art Online continuing on its merry way. The list of originals is looking a bit more sparse, but I’m often surprised by what ends up grabbing me anyway, so I’m not too worried about that. As always, all upcoming shows can be seen at anichart.net. And as usual, I’m only going to be covering the shows I’m actually checking out – if your favorite’s not here, feel free to make a case for it in the comments! Let’s start with my top pick and run it down…



I’m not sure this is the show I’m most looking forward to this season, but I do think it’s very easily the show with the most immediate potential. The source material for this one is excellent – I actually own most of the manga, and can already confirm it’s a strong thriller that makes great use of the story’s premise. Its horror leanings might actually be elevated by animation, and Madhouse have a tremendous reputation, even if their recent productions have been hit or miss. Plus, this also marks the return of Aya Hirano to main-character roles, as she plays the… sentient parasite controlling a high-school boy’s right hand. Who can really afford to miss that?

Here’s the first PV, which shows off some lovely animation.

Mushishi Zoku Shou Season Two


Not much to say about this one – it’s season two of season two of Mushishi. Though I haven’t been quite as fond of the second season as the original, that could very well come down to Mushishi overdose – I went directly from the first season into the second, and at this point am certainly ready for more. Mushishi’s a gem, every new season enriches our medium.

Psycho-Pass 2

Psycho-Pass 2

My expectations are actually fairly muted for this one – I liked Psycho-Pass well enough, but police procedurals aren’t really my thing in the abstract, and it doesn’t seem like Urobuchi is even involved in this season. It was really the ideas he implanted in the story that made it compelling for me. The replacement writer is Tow Ubakata, whose work on Ghost in the Shell: Arise would seem to indicate he knows something about cyberpunk crime shows, but we’ll have to see what kind of show this sequel turns out to be.

Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle


What can I say? Chaika is Chaika – the little adventure that could, a show that continues to jump over the moderate goals it sets for itself while remaining entertaining and endearing all along the way. It bolsters its fairly D&D-esque narrative with well-composed action scenes and a fine sense of humor, and its story reflects on post-war attitudes in a variety of engaging ways. But really, Chaika is primarily just a fun ride with a group of likable people – it’s a warm show that’s always nice to kick back to. I’m happy to see it return.

 Here’s the PV.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso


This one’s pretty much my only wholly speculative pick, but the synopsis is just so compelling that I have to give it a chance. I’m a big fan of the Nodame Cantabile manga, and this story seems quite similar – I’m a sucker for stories about both music and romance, and if you combine them, I probably won’t be able to stay away. The series composer for this one has an incredibly terrible resume, but, I mean, it’s gotta be on noitaminA for some reason, right? Plus, that PV is classy as hell. Here’s hoping I get rewarded for my speculation.

Here’s the PV.

Log Horizon Season Two

Log Horizon

Man, that is one hideous key visual. Anyway, I generally enjoyed but was never truly wowed by Log Horizon’s first season, and I’m perfectly happy to feel the same way about its sequel. The show has ideas, but its amorphous structure and mediocre execution tended to keep them from becoming more than the sum of their parts – I don’t really expect the sequel to change that, but it doesn’t have to. Log Horizon is competent, it’ll be nice to see it again.

Fate/stay night

Fate/stay night

Now there’s a key visual! I don’t really have the highest hopes for this one, either – frankly, I feel like I enjoyed Fate/Zero largely in spite of the convoluted, random-ass Fate universe nonsense, and diving into the non-Urobuchi original seems like a questionable proposition. But it is an incredibly beloved property, and it will almost certainly look pretty, so I’m hoping this will be enjoyable as entertainment even if its worldbuilding sometimes puts me to sleep. I haven’t watched the original FSN, and I only made it a few hours into the visual novel, so I’m just gonna hope this new show allows new fans to figure stuff out as they go along. I mean, this is intended to reach new audiences, right? …right?

Here is one of the very fancy-looking PVs.

Amagi Brilliant Park

Amagi Brilliant Park

My passion for Kyoto Animation died on the harsh, unforgiving rocks of Chuunibyou Ren. At this point, I have no expectations for their work – they haven’t made something I’ve seriously enjoyed in about two years, and those have been a busy two years. But this show gives me a reason to be curious, at least – well, two reasons. First, this is the first show since Hyouka that’s actually an adaptation of something from outside of KyoAni – in this case, another work by the creator of Full Metal Panic. And secondly, this is also the first show since Hyouka to be directed by Yasuhiro Takemoto, who I consider the clear best director at their studio. The last two works he directed were Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and Hyouka, the works I’d call KyoAni’s easy peak as a studio, and his presence gives me hope that Amagi Brilliant Park could end up more interesting than its very bland and anime-standard premise would otherwise indicate. KyoAni has a ton of talent, so I’m going to keep giving them chances, but I’d really, really like for this one to be worth betting on.

Here’s the PV.

Grisaia no Kajitsu

Grisaia no Kajitsu

There’s very little chance I’ll end up watching more than an episode or two of this – my only real incentive here is “adaptation curiosity.” I’ve actually played through a great deal of Grisaia, and can personally vouch for it being largely terrible (this review pretty much covers my thoughts on it), but since I’ve never played a visual novel prior to its adaptation before, I’m interested in seeing the process close up, and how my perception of the text interacts with how the series composer handles it. So yeah, I’m pretty much solely watching this for pretentious, writerly reasons. Should be a good time!

And that’s my list so far. Anything I’m missing? I know the big absence is Terra Formars, but I’m just not that interested in watching the blooddark grimkill action show this time – that said, there’s a decent chance twitter buzz will lead to me catching the first episode anyway. So what are you guys looking forward to?

75 thoughts on “Fall 2014 Season Preview

  1. Fall for me is mostly going to be about sequels to stuff from earlier this year. YowaPedal: Grande Road, Chaika: Avenging Battle, Gundam Build Fighters TRY, Log Horizon 2 and the last season of Mushishi. There are a few new series that seem promising, but nothing that grabs me all that much:
    Parasyte looks neat, though I have no familiarity with the manga
    Seven Deadly Sins I’ve head good things about and I like the art so far
    I’m curious, if not hopeful, for Ronja the Robber’s Daughter, since I’m not a fan of fully CG series, even if it’s from Ghibli
    I’m hesitantly hopeful about World Trigger, since I’m not that big on the manga, but I’m hoping the anime can do something to improve it.

  2. Took another look at the fall Anichart and was briefly shocked when I saw a Ghibli TV production that I had not heard a peep about. Sure, Hayao Miyazaki’s gone, but there’s no way he was the only talented person there, right? Then, of course, the other shoe dropped that it has 3d character animation outsourced to another studio. Well, I’ll probably still check out the first episode to see how far they’ve fallen.

  3. Heh next seasons seems has weak has the present one.. Will start with the first four shows on your list + try terra formar due to the hype and weird design, have no idea what its like.
    Amagi park seems pretty unoriginal with its PV and full metal panic was a big borefest for me, maybe it’ll be a surprise like witchcraft works, twitter will tell.

    And that Urobuchi movie. Actually do you have any hope for that movie? don’t know much about it myself. Posters has seems to show some interesting designs in a weird mixt.

    • Oh I’ll also try that trigger adaptations because it’s mere existence is so strange to me. Though Imaishi isn’t involved.

      Also curious about that Ghibli TV serie despite all that happened.

  4. Watching the anime season chart these days just makes me wanna facepalm so hard…
    I will be watching Mushishi since I love it, Fate/Stay Night because why the hell not, I watched Fate/Zero and I enjoyed on a pure emotional level, and from this preview I guess ill check out Parasyte. Other than that, I think I will continue with my tradition of watching great anime from the past couple of years

  5. It’s the attack of the sequels! Yeah, sequels/continuing shows will dominate the majority of my next season viewing. Maybe it’s time to pick up live action series again.

  6. The only way I’m watching that F/SN thing is if it’s the only anime that comes out that day. You’ve fooled me ten times ufotable/Type-Moon adaptations. I think I’ve caught onto you by this point.

  7. “It’s gotta be noitaminA for some reason.”

    Not to be a pessimist but Galilei Donna was also a noitaminA show. Of course, there are still more good noitaminA shows than bad.

    I heard about Shigatsu a few months ago, and it sounded good, but I was surprised to find myself a little annoyed by the premise. He can’t hear the piano anymore at all. My reaction is more oversaturation than anything, but what is it with anime and really extreme psychosomatic symptoms caused by trauma? We’ve had blindness, amnesia, to a lesser extent loss of superpowers, and now piano-deafness. This probably shouldn’t even bother me, but unless actually losing the ability to hear the sound of a piano has some kind of thematic value, would it have been so bad if he just didn’t want to play anymore?

    My irrational griping aside the show will hopefully be OK, although the only other show I’ve seen from this series composer is DearS, which is quite possibly my least favorite anime of all time.

    Like all people I’ll watch Mushishi and Parasyte. I gave Kyoukai no Kanata a chance, so I might as well give Amagi Brilliant Park a chance.

    • Eh, not sure if that still holds true anymore. A lot of their recent show have received mixed reception, and there are quite a few absolute duds (Black Rock Shooter, Guilty Crown, Galilei, Nanana’s I think, etc.). Still pay attention to what’s airing on that block each season though.

  8. Most looking forward to Mushishi, and most hopeful about Amagi Brilliant Park and Parasyte. Based on series comp director studio etc., I think I’ll take a look at the first episodes of the following (in addition to those you’ve already listed):

    Nanatsu no Taizai: Same series comp as Oregairu and Eccentric Family. Director sounds good too (involved in NGE, Cowboy Bebop, etc.)

    Garo: Honoo no Kokuin: MAPPA is new but promising studio (Kids on Slope, Zankyou no Terror). Same series comp as JoJo and Casshern Sins.

    World Trigger: More speculative, but I like the genre, and character design animation in PV looks good. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dISRAk0WCpU]

    Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete: Very speculative. I saw someone mention in your ask.fm that the script writer was involved in Kino’s Journey and Cowboy Bebop and did series comp for Natsume’s Book of Friends. But anichart lists it as harem.

    Ronia: Would appreciate some clarification on Studio Ghibli’s involvement. The source material is supposed to be great; intrigued that it’s non-Japanese. But put off by the 3D animation. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsYWw0AzMAs]

  9. Fall season is almost here!? I’m behind on nearly everything from Summer besides HxH!

    Looking at the chart though, I can’t say I’m looking forward to much. I’ll definitely watch Chaika and Psycho-Pass since I did enjoy the first season of those two. I didn’t really care for Log Horizon all that much and I’m a horrible person for putting Mushishi (I swear I’ll start this someday!) off so I won’t be watching those either. The Parasyte manga was suggested to me a while ago and I never got around to reading it so now I’m wondering if I should watch it in anime form instead.

    • I get the feeling Parasyte will be this season’s “event television,” so I’d definitely recommend it. Always fun to watch something with an internet crowd.

  10. I know that PA Works has been mostly miss for you lately but have you considered Shirobako? It’s an anime original about working in the industry directed by the director of Witch Craft Works and GIrls und Panzer. Probably a speculative pick for you if anything but it struck me as something with potential.

  11. Oh yeah, the Fall 2014 season is happening within the next few weeks. I guess I should figure out what I’m watching.

    My, “Yeah, I’m obviously watching that,” picks are Log Horizon S2 and Chaika: Avenging Battle. I really like the predecessors and I had almost no qualms with either. However, I’ve heard some worrisome comments that the later light novels of Log Horizon bringing the quasi-implied romances to the forefront, so I do have a small amount of doubt for Log Horizon S2.

    I’m also probably going to watch Parasyte and World Trigger unless they somehow result in anime fans creating torrents of hatred. I’ve heard tons of recommendations for Parasyte and apparently a lot of people have been really happy with the World Trigger manga. I’m also fairly confident that they’ll be good-looking shows, with Madhouse still being Madhouse and Kyousogiga showing that Toei Animation has an eye for aesthetics when they need it.

    If there are any speculative picks for me, I guess they would be Fate/Stay Night and Ronia The Robber’s Daughter. I’m only interested in Fate/Stay Night because it’s a continuation of Urobuchi’s Fate/Zero, and because he’s not involved with this new continuation I have no idea what to expect in terms of quality. And while Ronia is a CG show that was co-created by a studio that’s now closed, the other studio working on the show also created Knights of Sidonia, which general consensus suggests is the best science-fiction anime series of 2014.

    • Hm, didn’t know that Ronia had the Sidonia studio involved. That’s… interesting. Sidonia was good, but I felt the character models/animation were the worst part – it was helped by the fact that many of the big scenes were in robots. But we’ll see, I guess.

  12. im hyped for F/SN , because i liked the original (even tho it’s the weakest route) but hey it’s the unlimited blade works route so it should be epic with ufotable, it should be gooood :3

  13. Though I haven’t been quite as fond of the second season as the original, that could very well come down to Mushishi overdose

    Man, am I on the same boat… Even though I tried to hold back a bit and savour it, I couldn’t help but rush through the first season this Spring, fell head over heels in love with it, then after seeing that magical seashell-birds episode and feeling my heart swell with elation, I suddenly felt tired as hell and stopped watching. I honestly believe Mushishi is one of the best things I’ve ever seen on TV, yet I haven’t been able to muster the enthusiasm to go on with it after that, which really confused me for a while. I hope the right mood comes back before the new season, I really miss it, though I suspect it might be gone for good, after all*.

    As for the Summer season and next, Fall…. ehhh.
    [Chaika-chan, Chaika-chan, come and save us from this boredom!]

    *A kinda-sorta related passage from Miyazaki’s ‘Starting Point’:
    To confess, I can praise Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker to the heavens, but I haven’t actually seen the whole film. I probably only saw the last third, and then just happened to see it on television. But that was enough for me. I was overwhelmed and had no desire to see more. … I was thrilled to the bottom of my heart. To watch anymore would have been too much.

    • If you’re not in the right mood for Mushishi, I’d just wait on it – I spent most of the summer not watching any, and then went back for just the tenth episode I’d missed, and was able to enjoy that one just fine. Let the mood strike you, I think.

  14. I’m kind of surprised that the series I’m most looking forward to is Chaika. It’s not even a case where I think the schedule is really sparse-looking, it’s just… Chaika. Have something about it. Charming. Gather remains.

    I can’t really get excited about Parasyte. It looks like it’ll be excellent, but I’m really not able for, umm, body horror. Though if you thought the source material excellent I’m going assume there’s far more to it than that.

    You’ve pretty much nailed my thoughts on Amagi as well. I very amicably parted ways with Kyoani after Hyouka, but the staff line-up make me curious for this one. The premise/source material not so much, though.

    I’m also curious about Sora No Method. It looks like it might just be another moe show, but the preview is seriously pretty. And it’s an original so it might actually do meaningful things with its characters.

    • Sora no Method looks… pretty harem, so I dunno. But yeah, I’m also really looking forward to Chaika. It’s just so damn enjoyable.

      As for Parasyte, there’s certainly some bizarre/creepy stuff, but it’s more building dread than gross-out horror – the violence, when it happens, is generally very fast.

  15. I don’t know but Donten ni Warau is probably severely underrated? Reading the manga the source material is impeccable and the characters and their relationships are so subtly nuanced its really amazing. And for a manga of 29 chapters its really well-executed to the point where the plot which isn’t the most intriguing gets completely carried by the characters,it deals a pretty decent emotional punch as well. However, I think it’s only adapting the first 14chapters and the really good points and character development really only happen after that part of the story. You should read the manga tho!

  16. I’m not sure if it’s going to be all that accessible to someone unfamiliar with the first route, but the new Fate/stay night season has a chance to be fantastic. Unlimited Blade Works is the most Urobuchi-like of the game’s routes, and in my opinion by far the best and least reliant on the Fate universe as a whole. Of course, the movie version was probably the second-worst adaptation I’ve ever seen (after Mahouka), leaving out everything that made the original so good. So there’s a wide range of potential there.

    Other than that, I basically share your thoughts on Amagi and Psycho-Pass, and I have high hopes for the second half of Aldnoah. There’s nothing that leaves me jumping out of my seat though.

  17. Yeah, Fall has a pretty solid lineup on sequels alone. There are a few things I’m planning on giving a shot that were not on your list, but I’m not surprised by the exclusion of any of them.

    The new Kaito Kid will probably be entertaining, but I’m a fan of the manga and of Detective Conan, so I know I’m biased there. Cross Ange looks fairly generic, but its the first anime that Akiko Shikata is the music director for, and since she is my favorite singer/songwriter/composer from Japanese media I at lest know the show is going to sound fantastic, so I’ll give it a shot. Other than that there were a couple of originals or shows based on completed manga that I will give a quick look at, but I’m not expecting anything from them.

  18. Hmm, I was interested in Amagi, waffled when I heard the FMP name attached to it, but if it’s from Hyouka’s director I’m interested again (not sure how much of Hyouka’s strength was from the director’s adaptational skills or from the original books but man that was a good show, so sad it’s not licensed)

    • Hyouka was actually series-composed by the guy who wrote Amagi, and apparently this show is going to be so different from the manga that they’re developing a new manga, so my hype thrusters are kind of activated.

  19. To be fair, Fate/Stay Night (the VN) is pretty dull until you get to UBW (what the anime is covering) and HF (what the new movie is covering). Once you get to that point Shirou actually has a character and the plot has more depth than “gotta save the day”. I didn’t get the Fate love until I reached those routes.

  20. The one i am looking forward to is probably Log Horizon(still catching up with the first season) and Chaika. Sword Art Online is a keep. But i think give several show a shot:

    Fate/stay Night: I am not that fan of the original anime(or the VN) but it was passably entertaining plus they adapt The Unlimited Bladework which is the route i find to be interesting.

    Amagi Briliant Park: While the premise didn’t really interested me, this is still KyoAni’s so while it won’t wow me, at least it’ll look pleasing to the eye.

    Parasyte: I am not really into thriller which is same the reason why i don’t watch Zankyou this year. I am probably pick Zankyou later, but i think i am going give this show a shot first considering the praise it gets.

    Ore wa, Twintail ni Narimasu: And now for something completely different. Sillyness aside thought, the character design look appealing and who knows it MIGHT going to have some good action sequences. I am just hoping it won’t turn into another Kampfer.

    • Oh yeah, Studio Trigger is still doing stuff. While it’s hard for me to see Inou-Battle being downright awful, I am disappointed that Trigger is going from rocking their own visual style to just following in the footsteps of most other modern anime. Granted, this is most likely just a contract job they took to keep the lights on while they finish Little Witch Academia 2, but nonetheless it’s a small step down for the studio.

  21. Unfortunately for you and the other anime only people, it really seems that ufotable really is expecting people to read at least read the first route of the F/SN VN. The day it was announced that ufotable was animating the second route, it was also announced that the first route is getting a completely free release on iOS.

    • That does not imply that Ufotable was in any way expecting people to have read F/SN. Having played the VN, I see absolutely no reason why Ufotable cannot, and would not, make the UTW story accessible to people who are new to the franchise.

      • Honestly it’s really got me confused. Fate focuses on Saber, who’s pretty much the most popular Type-Moon character. It would’ve made plenty of money, and they could’ve done the other routes after that. Hell, I saw an interview a few weeks ago that said that ufotable WAS working on Fate, but decided to switch to Unlimited Blade Works for some unknown reason.

        I do think you’ll be fine for the most part though, but some stuff here and there will probably go over your head or won’t have the same impact that they did.

  22. You’re not going to take a look at Sanzoku no Musume Ronja? I know Miyazaki Goro has disappointed a lot of people (I can see why Tales of Earthsea was largely considered a flop, though I personally really love From Up on Poppy Hill), but I’d think that a TV anime co-produced by Studio Ghibli would still be worth at least a cursory glance.

  23. I’m clearly looking forward to Parasite. I enjoyed the manga back in the day and I think the animation looks great. My only surprise is that “Right Hand” is played by a female. I always gave it some kind of male connotation.

    My biggest hope for this season, is that the tendency for the invincible, flawless protagonist is reversed. I could not take another season of Kirito, Tatsuya and Inaho. I like my MC’s to have a bit of fail in them.

    • Frankly, I actually prefer protagonists like Tatsuya to protagonists like whatshisface from No Game No Life. At least Tatsuyas are unintentionally funny…

      And yeah, Migi being played by friggin’ Haruhi is gonna be interesting.

  24. Yeah, can someone explain to me and/or figure out why Butch Gen isn’t writing his works fully anymore? Gargantia, Aldnoah, and now Psycho Pass 2… I just find it odd. Like, is there any information on this sort of stuff? It’s quite hard to find out the details on anime production beyond the simple “director/writer/character designs” descriptors.

    Also, for Type-Moon aficionados, is this adaptation just Unlimited Blade Works, or also the original Fate/Stay Night storyline? I also find it odd that they’d so quickly remake UBW, when it was just made a a few years ago, and not remake the vastly inferior F/SN.

    Anyway, all questions aside, you’ve actually sparked my curiosity for Amagi Brilliant Park. I too recently lost my previously fervent passions for KyoAni (for me it was Beyond the Boundary that did the final blow), but I was not aware of the director, which is enough to keep me extremely hopeful. You bring up a great point too; this show is in a way very similar to Hyouka, as it’s premise has very little to set it apart or make it sound out, but in the right hands (that is, Yasuhiro Takemoto’s Midas touch) it can blossom. So thanks for renewing my interest.

    • THEN AGAIN: I started looking through some KyoAni related stuffs, then realized another reason for Hyouka’s greatness was a strong source material, which led me too look into the source material for Amagi… Needless to say, I don’t think the source material will be too great. ;_;


    • Urobuchi just might be too busy right now. He’s just finished up a run on Kamen Rider, he’s also releasing Expelled From Paradise this fall, and I’m sure he’s got other projects – he’s just in crazy demand right now.

  25. Really, this season was weak? I thought this was a pretty strong summer season. There were a lot of big-name disappointments, sure (like Aldnoah Zero and Sailor Moon Crystal), but a lot of really good smaller-name stuff like Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, Love Stage and Barakamon. And sequels of some stuff I enjoyed from previous seasons like Free! (granted, I know we disagree on this one) and Space Dandy.

    At least, I thought it was a better summer selection than last year’s, and certainly way better than the winter season this year.

    This fall, I’m less excited about, mostly because it’s a lot of sequels. The stuff I’ve seen I’m not excited about (I share your feelings on Psycho-Pass 2 and Fate/Stay Night almost to the letter, though it’s worth noting that this FSN is based on the Unlimited Blade Works route which is supposedly better than the main one), with the exception of Mushi-shi obviously. And a lot of it’s stuff I haven’t seen. Besides what you mentioned, I want to check out the Ghibli TV anime, Seven Deadly Sins and that thing about a merman (even though that looks like a silly thing that would be more at-home in a winter or summer season, it’s the kind of silly anime I tend to like).

    I’m also excited about Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, though, since as a musician I love music stories. I still need to watch Nodame Cantabile.

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